Counterfeit air bags are being sold to repair shops for discounted prices resulting in more than 20 manufacturers’ vehicles being at risk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The report released by the NHTSA details vehicles which have had an air bag replaced within the past three years by a repair shop not part of a new car dealership may be at risk.
The risk is severe enough the NHTSA has a video showing what happens to a crash test dummy when it’s involved the crash of vehicle equipped with a faulty air bag.
The 30-second spot below doesn’t have audio and it doesn’t need it.
The consumer safety agency become aware of the problem after the sale of counterfeit air bags that look nearly identical to certified, original equipment parts—including bearing the insignia and branding of major automakers.
Testing by the NHTSA showed consistent malfunctioning ranging from non-deployment of the air bag to the expulsion of metal shrapnel during deployment. NHTSA is not aware of any deaths or injuries connected to counterfeit air bags.
While the full scope and scale of the problem of counterfeit air bags is uncertain from currently available data.
The NHTSA believes the issue affects less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet.
The full list of call centers and additional information are available at www.SaferCar.gov.